Navigation Links
Our 'caveman logic' embraces ESP over evolution
Date:7/8/2009

We see the face of the Virgin Mary staring up at us from a grilled cheese sandwich and sell the uneaten portion of our meal for $37,000 on eBay. We believe in ESP, ghosts, and angels over the scientific theory of evolution. While science offers a wealth of rational explanations for natural phenomena, we often prefer to embrace the fantasies that reassured our distant ancestors. And we'll even go to war to protect our delusions against those who do not share them.

These are examples of what evolutionary psychologist Hank Davis calls "Caveman Logic." Although some examples are funny, the condition itself is no laughing matter. In CAVEMAN LOGIC: THE PERSISTENCE OF PRIMITIVE THINKING IN A MODERN WORLD (Prometheus Books, $19.98), Davis encourages us to transcend the mental default settings and tribal loyalties that worked well for our ancestors back in the Pleistocene age. Davis laments a modern world in which more people believe in ESP, ghosts, and angels than in evolution. Superstition and religion get particularly critical treatment, although he argues that religion, itself, is not the problem but "an inevitable by-product of how our minds misperform."

"Caveman Logic is a whirlwind tour through the deeper recesses of our evolved mind. Hank Davis brings to bear cutting edge research from the cognitive sciences to reveal how mental tools designed to serve the needs of our ancient ancestors continue to exert an influence, both subtle and powerful, on human thought and behavior today," said John Teehan, Associate Professor of Religion, Hofstra University and author of In the Name of God: The Evolutionary Origins of Religious Ethics and Violence.

Davis says CAVEMAN LOGIC: THE PERSISTENCE OF PRIMITIVE THINKING IN A MODERN WORLD is the product of more than two decades of pondering, teaching and writing about "the powerful influence of irrational, delusional thinking that is anchored to our Pleistocene-era brain circuitry." He asserts that much of this primitive thinking is supported by modern social institutions. For example, a 2007 poll found that nearly 70 percent of Americans believe angels and demons are active forces in the world, while a 2009 survey concluded that only 39 percent believe in Darwin's theory of evolution. Even non-religious persons often thank God or "the heavens" in response to good news.

"Ways of thinking that were both reasonable and advantageous in caveman days become illogicaland potentially destructivewhen they are overextended to modern times," says Madeleine Van Hecke, author of Blind Spots: Why Smart People Do Dumb Things.

Maggie Jackson, author of Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age adds, "Hank Davis reveals the deep roots of humanity's weakness for superstitions, blind assumptions and primitive thinking, and shows how we can start to overcome 'caveman logic.'"

Davis advocates a world in which "spirituality" is viewed as a dangerous rather than an admirable quality, and suggests ways in which we can overcome our innate predisposition toward irrationality. Davis points out that, "biology is not destiny." Just as some of us succeed in watching our diets, resisting violent impulses, and engaging in unselfish behavior, we can learn to use critical thinking and the insights of science to guide individual effort and social action in the service of our whole species.


'/>"/>

Contact: Jennifer Kovach
jkovach@prometheusbooks.com
800-853-7545
Prometheus Books
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology news :

1. Keck Foundation funds study of biological interactions with nanomaterials
2. New insight into the mechanisms of voltage sensing and transduction in biological processes
3. Book on weeds and invasive plants discusses how to manage them using ecological approaches
4. Microfossils disclose geologic history of eastern California
5. Entomological Society of America recognizes 2007 fellows and honorary members
6. Biogeochemistry -- A window into the Earths ecological health
7. Mellon awards Carnegie Grant for Ecological Monitoring in South Africa
8. Biological warfare: What do you need to know?
9. Entomological Society announces 2007 award winners
10. A mechanism to explain biological cross-talk between 24-hour body cycle and metabolism
11. Story ideas from the Journal of Biological Chemistry
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Our 'caveman logic' embraces ESP over evolution
(Date:4/28/2016)... and BANGALORE, India , April ... EdgeVerve Systems, a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... today announced a global partnership that will provide ... to use mobile banking and payment services.      ... a key innovation area for financial services, but it also ...
(Date:4/19/2016)... UAE, April 20, 2016 The ... as a compact web-based "all-in-one" system solution for all ... fingerprint reader or the door interface with integration authorization ... access control systems. The minimal dimensions of the access ... into the building installations offer considerable freedom of design ...
(Date:4/13/2016)... , April 13, 2016  IMPOWER physicians supporting ... are setting a new clinical standard in telehealth thanks ... By leveraging the higi platform, IMPOWER patients can routinely ... pulse and body mass index, and, when they opt ... and convenient visit to a local retail location at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/25/2016)... Diego, Calif. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Diego area and has consistently been rated one of its top attractions. Fortune ... the globe to participate in a unique and intimate team-building experience. , Each event ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... Michael Fitzmaurice recently became double board-certified in surgery and surgery of the hand ... Dr. Fitzmaurice is no stranger to going above and beyond in his pursuit ...
(Date:5/25/2016)... LAKE CITY, UTAH. (PRWEB) , ... May 25, 2016 , ... ... efficiencies in healthcare information exchange, today announced that Charles W. Stellar has been named ... as WEDI’s interim CEO since January 2016. As an executive leader with more than ...
(Date:5/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2016 , ... ... attacks, diabetes, and traumatic injuries, will be accelerated by research at Worcester Polytechnic ... into engines of wound healing and tissue regeneration. , The novel method, developed ...
Breaking Biology Technology: